Monthly Archives: March, 2008

March 27, 2008 eNewsletter

March 27th, 2008 Posted by eNewsletter, Market Commentary, Uncategorized No Comment yet

March 27, 2008

Spring is here! Well, almost…. In the real estate world, now that we are past March Break and Easter the ‘Spring Market’ is upon us. You will soon notice a surge in the number of ‘For Sale’ signs around town – and weekend Open Houses will be packed with snoopers and buyers. If you are planning to sell this season, start prepping your home. If you are planning to buy, now is a good time to review your financing options, and make sure that I have the up-to-date specs for your automatic listing search. Things move fast at this time of year, so it’s best to be prepared!

What’s happening so far?
Volume down, prices up
The volume of houses for sale in the GTA has been down over the first couple of months in 2008. However, prices are up over last year by 6% in Janurary, 4% in February and 5% so far in March. These increases are consistent both with the past few years, and with recent forecasts for ’08.

The winter months are always slower, in part due to the weather. Near-record snowfall this winter has definitely been a factor. Warmer, sunnier weather will certainly make it easier to cruise open houses! With the seasonal increase in listings we’ll soon see an increase in sales volume. Expect prices to increase in the 5% year-over-year range for the next few months. (Note: that is a GTA average; some neighbourhoods will see a slightly lower increase, some may see a much bigger increase.)

It’s also important to note that supply in Canadian cities is still relatively tight – that’s why prices continue to rise. This is the opposite of what has happened in the States. There, listing volume spiked, causing the market to ‘tip over’. I’m not aware of any major Canadian city that has an excess of supply. At this point, we are miles away from the sort of market conditions they are experiencing. With continuing economic strength and low interest rates, our real estate markets should have another year of solid gains.

Referrals
They mean more to us now than ever before
More than a third of my new business last year came through referrals, up from 20% in ’06. My business plan has always been to work hard for my clients to build respect and friendships that will generate a lifeline of referrals to family and friends. It looks like that is really starting to bear fruit, and I want to thank everybody who has complimented me with a referral. The time I save by NOT having to prospect for new business is time better spent serving the needs of referral clients. I am looking forward to another year of increasing referral business, and building with those clients the same kind of relationships that I have with so many of you. Thank you!

March 5th, 08 eNewsletter

March 5th, 2008 Posted by eNewsletter, Market Commentary No Comment yet

Most of you have probably heard about the 50 basis point drop in the Prime lending rate. Although they don’t always do this, the major banks have passed that on to consumers by lowering their mortgage rates. Posted rates are now around 5.25% for a 5 year term. That’s pretty good, but not as good as the prime minus 80 points that I have on my variable rate mortgage.

With rates set to decline at least once more this year, it’s a good idea to at least weigh the option of a variable mortgage (or line of credit on your existing home, if you want/need that).

A neat feature of variable rate products is that the scheduled payment stays the same when rates go down, allowing you to chip away at the principal amount a little faster. Naturally, that works both ways, meaning that you should call your bank and increase your payment if/when rates go up.

Overall, it looks like we are finally seeing a bit of a slow-down in the economy – which is no surprise after 6 months of the media harping on about it. Nonetheless, I remain confident that Toronto will remain stable through the coming turmoil. The job market is strong, population growth (in Toronto) is steady, and interest rates are still very low.

Call or email me any time with your questions and/or comments!